Cabinet approves proposal to lease out 3 airports of AAI

Thiruvananthapuram airport (File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal for leasing out the three airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram of Airport Authority India (AAI).

In a media briefing, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Cabinet approves the proposal for leasing out Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram of Airports Authority of India (AAI) through Public Private Partnership (PPP).”

These airports to be handed over to Adani Enterprise Ltd for operation, management and development, who is declared as the successful bidder in a Global Competitive Bidding conducted by the Airports Authority of India, for a period of 50 years, he added.

The three airports were part of AAI’s first phase of airport privatisation but were stuck in legal hurdles after the highest bidders were announced.

Javadekar also said that the Airport Authority of India will get an upfront amount of Rs 1,070 crore from handing over the airports to the private developer.

“The upfront Rs 1,070 crore that will come to AAI will be used for developing airports in smaller airports. The other benefit is travellers will get better facilities. It will also improve efficiency of airports,” the minister added.

He clarified that the lease was only for 50 years after which the AAI will get the airports back. These airports will be re-developed in a public private partnership mode.

Meanwhile, the other three airports in the first tranche— Ahmadabad, Lucknow and Mangalur were earlier awarded to the Adani Group, the highest bidder.

Earlier, the government had leased out the Airports Authority of India’s airport at Delhi and Mumbai on Public Private Partnership (PPP) for operation, management and development about a decade ago.

These PPP experiments have helped create world class airports and helped in delivery of efficient and quality services to the passengers. It has also helped AAI in enhancing its revenues and focusing on developing airports and air navigation infrastructure in the rest of the country.

Therefore, the government decided to lease out more airports of AAI for operation, management and development under PPP through Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).

-RJV